For Christmas, Scott surprised me with a Leica M3 film camera and the 50mm f/2.0 Summicron. We were both curious about film and decided that a used rangefinder would be perfect for street photography. When we first took our new setup out, one exposure out of 36 was in focus. We chuckled when we imagined the expressions on the Wolf Camera person. We were ready to send the lens and camera to Guy Lazarus (the famous Leica repairman) when we realized that the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron has a near focusing range for macro shots. We had accidentally set our lens to near focus, which caused all of our shots to be out of focus. Boy – did we miss the luxury of chimping on the digital screen? Did we mention this camera is manual focus only? Actually, this camera is all manual… from shutter speed, aperture, focusing, winding the film. It forces the photographer to slow down and think before pressing the shutter button.
So, far, we are loving our Leica. We won’t get into a debate here on whether film is better than digital. Film is nostalgic and invokes a romantic emotion. And we definitely love film. We love it so much that we are already researching our next film camera. Scott needs one too.
Looking at the images below, it’s hard to believe that our camera is over 50 years old and the lens is almost the same age. All but the first image was shot with the Leica M3 on Kodak Portra 400 film.